Our kindergartners learn through movement, social interaction, and play. As parents, we can support that learning at home with kindergarten learning activities that are hands-on.
At this stage of their learning our kids need playful, hands-on activities .
Five and six-year-olds need to be active, dig hands deep into new textures, and manipulate objects to develop a deeper understanding of how things work.
KINDERGARTEN FUNCTIONAL TASKS
Kindergarten is perhaps the first time most kids will go to school. Therefore, it is a great opportunity to instill a small level of independence and practice some functional tasks with your kids. These are some functional tasks your child may need at kindergarten
- Managing their clothes
- Removing jacket/jersey
- Hanging jacket/jersey on a hook
- Putting on socks
- Tying shoelaces
- Going to the toilet
- Washing hands with soap
- Opening and closing backpack
- Opening and closing lunch box
- Feeding oneself with utensils
- Opening pencil box
- Putting pencils and other items away when done
- Closing pencil box
Children enhance their knowledge of basic math principles during kindergarten. They work with manipulating items to discover and explore numbers and patterns. They solve simple addition and subtraction problems, more or less, comparing amounts, and shapes.
By the end of the year, they should recognize, order, and count items up to 100. Other milestones include adding and subtracting single-digit numbers, identifying shapes, creating patterns, and classifying objects by size.
Here are some math activities parents can do with kindergartners:
Practice counting double-digit numbers with your child. Gather about 100 plastic cups and label them from 1 to 100. Have your child stack the cups in numerical order, counting out loud as they go. See how high the tower stacks before it falls over. If you use all 100 cups, your child will enjoy knocking them over.
Guess The Weight
Have your little one help you in the kitchen. Whenever you gather ingredients, ask them to guess the weight. “Which one is heavier, the tomato or the can of beans?” Use a food scale, which also gives them practice reading and interpreting measurements.
Playing Card Math
Grab a deck of cards, pick out all numbers between 1 and 5 (or include 6-10 for more of a challenge), and shuffle them. Have your child choose two at a time and add the numbers together, continuing until she works her way through the entire stack of cards.
Introduce your kindergartner to board games involving dice and count moves. This will improve number recognition and simple arithmetic.
Kindergartners will enjoy simple science experiments that don’t require much of an effort on your part, yet are jam-packed with fun learning opportunities. Your child can try science experiments that are a bit more involved but won’t leave your house a disaster area when they’re finished.
Here are some kindergarten science activities parents can do with their kids:
Mystery Sensory Perception
Mystery bags are always a hit with kids. Tuck a variety of objects inside five paper bags, then encourage kids to feel, shake, smell, and explore as they try to determine what the items are without looking. Ask them to describe the feel of the objects.
Buoyancy – What Sinks and What Floats
Fill a container of water. Add different items to the water (cork, pebble, hairbrush, toy etc). Kids learn about the property of buoyancy and get some practice making predictions and recording the results of this experiment
Get your hands dirty with your child. Kids love this. Scoop up some soil and examine it more closely, looking for rocks, seeds, roots, worms, and other items.
Play With Magnets
Place a variety of items into a small container, and ask kids which ones they think will be attracted to the magnets. Kids will love magnet play.
As your child starts to take her first steps into school, learning literacy at home can become more purposeful.
If you create a strong foundation of literacy skills when they are younger, you will notice that many of these things will happen automatically as they progress through school. Below are some literacy activities for Kindergartners.
Reading to your child
One of the most important literacy activities for a kindergartner is reading. Read everything and anything and read to them every day.
The important thing is to make reading enjoyable and fun. Always make time to read to your little one, even on days that you are busy and tired. Find the time.
Making a Shopping List Together
We all have to shop for food and making a shopping list is a fantastic literacy activity you can do with your kindergartner.
Give your child his own notepad and pen and ask him to make a shopping list. It is OK if the spelling is incorrect. This is the beginning of writing and understanding the purpose of writing.
Have your child bring their list with them to the store. They will enjoy the activity even more if you get their own little trolley to push alongside you.
Listening to Stories
These can be played in the car or when your child is falling asleep. This is a great way for your child to be exposed to a variety of vocabulary on a daily basis and help with their early literacy skills.
Writing and Posting a Letter
I know it is old school but your child will have fun doing it. Organize with a family member to become a pen pal for your child. Assist your child with writing a letter and help him post it. Then he can wait for a letter to come back . It is always exciting to get mail when you are a child.
Matching Letters and Sounds
This is a simple literacy activity for kindergartners. Write a letter of the alphabet on a card and have your child place it on something he can see that begins with that letter. For example the Letter T could be placed on a table.
Labeling Your Home
Label the table, the refrigerator, the chair, the television, label whatever you can think of. As your child sees these words around your home, they become more familiar. This is a great literacy activity to prepare your child for reading.
PRACTISE FINE MOTOR SKILLS
Anything that will strengthen your child’s fine motor skills is incredibly helpful when they start school. A child with under developed fine motor skills tends to feel exhausted by writing and can then make learning at school more challenging. Here are some ideas:
- Painting activities
- Using crayons and pencils and blank paper
- Assisting you in the kitchen, kneading, stirring, whisking, rolling
- Using a safe pair of scissors – cut out cardboard shapes
KINDERGARTEN GROWTH MINDSET
A growth mindset challenges us to rise above limitations and negativity.
It encourages determination, perseverance, and a focus on what is possible for us to achieve. For these reasons fostering a growth mindset within our kids is one of the most valuable attitudes we can nurture.
Negative to Positive
Write down a list of negative or limiting statements we can sometimes make about ourselves (e.g. “I’m not smart enough”. Show your child how to place a positive spin on the phrase by merely altering the language we use.
By doing this kids will start to make simple connections on how to change how we speak to improve how we feel about ourselves. Encourage them to give it a try with the rest of the sentences you’ve written for them.
Here are some simple examples of negative statements to begin with that they can quickly put a positive spin on:
- “I am weak”
- “I don’t believe in myself.”
- “I am not smart enough.”
- “I am not good enough.”
- “I don’t have good ideas.”
- “I am not special.”
Our history is full of famous people who have encountered failure before attaining success. Discovering who these people are and how they overcame adversity to succeed can be very inspiring stories for young children. You and your child can research some famous fails together.
How did these people fail, and how did they come back even stronger to accomplish their goals and dreams? Here are couple examples to get started:
- Walt Disney—His former newspaper editor informed him that he had no imagination and lacked any good ideas. The name Walt Disney is now synonymous with the word “imagination.”
- J.K. Rowling—Rowling was a struggling writer. She was a broke, divorced, single mother struggling with depression. Notwithstanding, the phenomenal success of her Harry Potter novels speaks for itself.
Pretend play is good for your child’s imagination, and develops vital social, language, thinking and emotional skills.
Cook An Imaginary Meal
Children love to act out the ordinary things their parents do. Let them serve you up a pretend meal.
Throw Picnics And Tea Parties
Set up a picnic table in the garden and have an entertaining and fun afternoon.
Play Super Heroes
Choose an action figure and embark on a fight between good and evil to save the world.
Turn A Box Into Anything
A box can be turned into a car, airplane or anything else. One of the best things about imaginative play is that you don’t need any special props to do it
Act Out A Play With Your Child
Let her take the lead and decide on the script.
Build A City
Toys like Lego and building blocks can be useful props for this game.
Clean The House Together
Kids are often strangely fascinated by housework. The next time you’re vacuuming or mopping the floor, give your child a prop so they can follow you around the house and take part.
Whichever activities you decide to choose, you are guaranteed to have hours of fun with your little one. Not only will you be bonding with your child, you are providing him with an amazing foundation on which he can successfully start his schooling life. So choose your activities and be prepared to have the most memorable and amazing time with your little one.
I would love to hear from you. Do you use any of these learning activities? Are there other fun activities that you and your child do together? if you have a comment or opinion please leave it below.